Amity Board of Education Unanimously Approves 2013-14 (+2.49%) Budget

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Mar 132013

Screen shot 2013-02-26 at 3.57.24 PMA Message from Supt. John Brady:

The Amity Board of Education unanimously approved the 2013-2014 spending plan at its regular meeting this past Monday.

The entire budget can be viewed on-line at www.amityregion5.org

The 2.49% increase is made up primarily of an increase in labor and medical insurance costs which amounted to over $1,000,000. You may recall that in the current year the teachers received no raise in pay at all. Administrators took a no pay increase in the previous year. Pay increases needed to be added to the budget for 2013-2014.

The next largest category of increase has to do with new mandates from the state regarding teacher and administrator evaluation, implementation of higher standards in English and mathematics along with new testing requirements for which we must to begin preparing students. These required initiatives are driving costs up for professional development, purchasing of new tests, etc.

Finally, we can wait no longer to replace outmoded technology devices. Due to the fiscal realities of the past several years we have put off replacement of equipment that should have been swapped out two and three years ago.

I urge you to take a look at the budget document at www.amityregion5.org

While the 2.49% increase is one of the lowest in the state (average Board approved budgets throughout the state are currently at 3.77%), we are confident that this budget will provide what our students need in a climate of ever increasing expectations.

First Orange BOE Meeting Without Consiglio

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Jan 142013

All of your Orange Elementary Schools

The Orange Board of Education meets tonight at 7:30 at Mary L. Tracy School.

This is the first regular meeting since the rather controversial take over that took place at the Dec. 3 meeting.

Orange Live was the ONLY media besides OGAT to cover the events that occurred when former Vice chairman Keith Marquis who did not win a spot on the board as an officer, claimed that the previous month’s board officer’s election was illegal and in the absence of chairman Jeanne Consiglio called for a new election.

In spite of the protests from board members Marquis would not let the issue be tabled until tonight’s meeting and after he was elected as the new chairman and back on board as an officer, he told Superintendent Lynn McMullin not to seek legal advice as to whether THIS election was legal or not.

Even though no other media picked up on this story it did not go unnoticed.

Some called the behavior displayed at the meeting as juvenile, others expressed their dismay that Consiglio had been blindsided while on vacation.

After nearly two decades of being the most disliked board in the BOW area because of the disrespectful way it treated residents during the public participation portion of the meetings and other unbecoming behavior.

Under Consiglio’s leadership the board was polite, accessible and had a good relationship with the superintendent and parents.

There is no telling what will happen now. Consiglio returned from vacation and chose not to raise a stink about the situation.

“The board is all volunteer, and they are good people. I don’t want to give them a black eye by putting a spotlight on what’s been done here,” she said.

(VIDEO) Meet Turkey Hill Principal Stephen Bergin

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Jul 102012

Stephen Bergin meets some children from Turkey Hill School

Parents and children from Turkey Hill School attended the July 9  Orange Board of Education meeting, anxious to meet the new principal, Stephen Bergin.

Racebrook School Principal Mike Gray was chairman of the search committee and said that out of 50 applicants, Bergin immediately stood out in the crowd.

Board Member Bobby Ricciardi was on search team one. He praised Gray for his leadership skills, stepping in when needed and taking a step back when he could. He also said Bergin was an excellent candidate from the get-go and his team was confident when it turned their recommendation over to team two.

Board Member Bill Kraut was on search team two. He echoed Ricciardi’s comments stating that Bergin was a wonderful choice for Turkey Hill School — where his daughter attends classes — and further expressed his confidence in their choice.

The father of two children, Bergin’s family did not accompany him to the meet and greet for reasons that he quickly explained when he was introduced. His mother and sister did join him for his special night.

See entire video HERE.